A combination of factors related to rain, wind and sea made the north coast of São Paulo the target of an "absolutely extreme and historic event" last weekend, in the words of meteorologist Marcelo Seluchi of the National Center for Monitoring and Warning of Natural Disasters (Cemaden).
Floods and landslides in the region left at least 40 dead, 1,730 displaced and 766 homeless, according to the state government – which, on Sunday (19), decreed a state of public calamity in the cities of São Sebastião, Caraguatatuba, Ubatuba, Ilhabela and Bertioga.
"It was a cold front, only with very particular characteristics," summarizes Seluchi, a doctor of meteorological sciences.
"First, it was a very intense cold front, to the point of leading to very low temperatures in the southern region of Brazil and in neighboring countries. When this front passed through Argentina, there was talk of the most intense cold front in the last 54 years. It wasn't just any cold front."